Chris Christie’s Republican National Convention Keynote Address

   Bookmark and Share  After officially nominating Mitt Romney for President during the afternoon session of the Republican National Convention, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie wrapped up the evening session with a keynote address that electrified the Tampa Times Forum Arena with a  clarion call to all Americans who believe our nation can do better (see video and complete text of the speech below this post).

In his speech, without mentioning any names, Christie masterfully addressed the shortcomings of President Obama and his policies.  At one point he described the President as having a desire to be loved that runs deeper than his desire to take on the tough issues.  “That’s what we need to do now.  Change polls through the power of our principles. Change polls through the strength of our convictions. Tonight, our duty is to tell the American people the truth”, said Christie.He added; “Our problems are big and the solutions will not be painless. We all must share in the sacrifice.  Any leader that tells us differently is simply not telling the truth”.

Christie’s address was an incredibly strong statement of conservative principles that made it clear that Americans can no longer standby and be satisfied with the status quo of politics-as-usual.  He cited multiple examples of his leadership in New Jersey that demonstrated how by touching the traditional third rails in politics, New Jersey was energized, not burned.

The New Jersey Governor’s well presented case was a little heavy (no pun intended) on himself and light on Mitt Romney.  While he spent most of the speech referring to himself on more than 30 occassions, he mentioned Mitt Romney about seven times.   Atill, Chrsitie helped set a tone for the coming weeks of the election that places Democrats on a losing playing field.

Full Text of Christie’s Speech

The Hon. Chris Christie
Governor of New Jersey

Republican National Convention Keynote Address
August 28, 2012
This stage and this moment are very improbable for me. 

A New Jersey Republican delivering the keynote address to our national convention, from a state with 700,000 more Democrats than Republicans. 

A New Jersey Republican stands before you tonight. 

Proud of my party, proud of my state and proud of my country.

I am the son of an Irish father and a Sicilian mother. 

My Dad, who I am blessed to have with me here tonight, is gregarious, outgoing and loveable. 

My Mom, who I lost 8 years ago, was the enforcer.  She made sure we all knew who set the rules.

In the automobile of life, Dad was just a passenger.  Mom was the driver.

They both lived hard lives.  Dad grew up in poverty.  After returning from Army service, he worked at the Breyers Ice Cream plant in the 1950s.   With that job and the G.I. bill he put himself through Rutgers University at night to become the first in his family to earn a college degree.  Our first family picture was on his graduation day, with Mom beaming next to him, six months pregnant with me.

Mom also came from nothing.  She was raised by a single mother who took three buses to get to work every day.  And mom spent the time she was supposed to be a kid actually raising children – her two younger siblings.  She was tough as nails and didn’t suffer fools at all. The truth was she couldn’t afford to.  She spoke the truth – bluntly, directly and without much varnish. 

I am her son.

I was her son as I listened to “Darkness on the Edge of Town” with my high school friends on the Jersey Shore. 

I was her son as I moved into a studio apartment with Mary Pat to start a marriage that is now 26 years old. 

I was her son as I coached our sons Andrew and Patrick on the fields of Mendham, and as I watched with pride as our daughters Sarah and Bridget marched with their soccer teams in the Labor Day parade. 

And I am still her son today, as Governor, following the rules she taught me: to speak from the heart and to fight for your principles. She never thought you get extra credit for just speaking the truth. 

The greatest lesson Mom ever taught me, though, was this one: she told me there would be times in your life when you have to choose between being loved and being respected.  She said to always pick being respected, that love without respect was always fleeting — but that respect could grow into real, lasting love. 

Now, of course, she was talking about women.

But I have learned over time that it applies just as much to leadership.   In fact, I think that advice applies to America today more than ever.

I believe we have become paralyzed by our desire to be loved. 

Our founding fathers had the wisdom to know that social acceptance and popularity is fleeting and that this country’s principles needed to be rooted in strengths greater than the passions and emotions of the times. 

Our leaders today have decided it is more important to be popular, to do what is easy and say “yes,” rather than to say no when “no” is what’s required.

In recent years, we as a country have too often chosen the same path. 

It’s been easy for our leaders to say not us, and not now, in taking on the tough issues.  And we’ve stood silently by and let them get away with it.

But tonight, I say enough. 

I say, together, let’s make a much different choice. Tonight, we are speaking up for ourselves and stepping up.  

We are beginning to do what is right and what is necessary to make our country great again.

We are demanding that our leaders stop tearing each other down, and work together to take action on the big things facing America.

Tonight, we choose respect over love.

We are not afraid.  We are taking our country back.

We are the great grandchildren of men and women who broke their backs in the name of American ingenuity; the grandchildren of the Greatest Generation; the sons and daughters of immigrants; the brothers and sisters of everyday heroes; the neighbors of entrepreneurs and firefighters, teachers and farmers, veterans and factory workers and everyone in-between who shows up not just on the big days or the good days, but on the bad days and on the hard days.

Each and every day. All 365 of them.

We are the United States of America.

Now we must lead the way our citizens live. To lead as my mother insisted I live, not by avoiding truths, especially the hard ones, but by facing up to them and being the better for it. 

We cannot afford to do anything less.

I know because this was the challenge in New Jersey. 

When I came into office, I could continue on the same path that led to wealth, jobs and people leaving the state or I could do the job the people elected me to do – to do the big things. 

There were those who said it couldn’t be done.  The problems were too big, too politically charged, too broken to fix. But we were on a path we could no longer afford to follow. 

They said it was impossible to cut taxes in a state where taxes were raised 115 times in eight years. That it was impossible to balance a budget at the same time, with an $11 billion deficit.  Three years later, we have three balanced budgets with lower taxes. 

We did it. 

They said it was impossible to touch the third rail of politics. To take on the public sector unions and to reform a pension and health benefit system that was headed to bankruptcy. 

With bipartisan leadership we saved taxpayers $132 billion over 30 years and saved retirees their pension.

We did it. 

They said it was impossible to speak the truth to the teachers union. They were just too powerful.  Real teacher tenure reform that demands accountability and ends the guarantee of a job for life regardless of performance would never happen.

For the first time in 100 years with bipartisan support, we did it. 

The disciples of yesterday’s politics underestimated the will of the people. They assumed our people were selfish; that when told of the difficult problems, tough choices and complicated solutions, they would simply turn their backs, that they would decide it was every man for himself.

Instead, the people of New Jersey stepped up and shared in the sacrifice. 

They rewarded politicians who led instead of politicians who pandered.

We shouldn’t be surprised. 

We’ve never been a country to shy away from the truth.  History shows that we stand up when it counts and it’s this quality that has defined our character and our significance in the world.

I know this simple truth and I’m not afraid to say it: our ideas are right for America and their ideas have failed America. 

Let’s be clear with the American people tonight. Here’s what we believe as Republicans and what they believe as Democrats. 

We believe in telling hard working families the truth about our country’s fiscal realities.  Telling them what they already know – the math of federal spending doesn’t add up.

With $5 trillion in debt added over the last four years, we have no other option but to make the hard choices, cut federal spending and fundamentally reduce the size of government. 

They believe that the American people don’t want to hear the truth about the extent of our fiscal difficulties and need to be coddled by big government. 

They believe the American people are content to live the lie with them. 

We believe in telling seniors the truth about our overburdened entitlements. 

We know seniors not only want these programs to survive, but they just as badly want them secured for their grandchildren. 

Seniors are not selfish.

They believe seniors will always put themselves ahead of their grandchildren.  So they prey on their vulnerabilities and scare them with misinformation for the cynical purpose of winning the next election. 

Their plan: whistle a happy tune while driving us off the fiscal cliff, as long as they are behind the wheel of power.

We believe that the majority of teachers in America know our system must be reformed to put students first so that America can compete.

Teachers don’t teach to become rich or famous. They teach because they love children. 

We believe that we should honor and reward the good ones while doing what’s best for our nation’s future – demanding accountability, higher standards and the best teacher in every classroom.

They believe the educational establishment will always put themselves ahead of children. That self-interest trumps common sense. 

They believe in pitting unions against teachers, educators against parents, and lobbyists against children. 

They believe in teacher’s unions.

We believe in teachers. 

We believe that if we tell the people the truth they will act bigger than the pettiness of Washington, D.C.

We believe it’s possible to forge bipartisan compromise and stand up for conservative principles. 

It’s the power of our ideas, not of our rhetoric, that attracts people to our Party. 

We win when we make it about what needs to be done; we lose when we play along with their game of scaring and dividing. 

For make no mistake, the problems are too big to let the American people lose – the slowest economic recovery in decades,  a spiraling out of control deficit,  an education system that’s failing to compete in the world. 

It doesn’t matter how we got here.  There is enough blame to go around. 

What matters now is what we do. 

I know we can fix our problems. 

When there are people in the room who care more about doing the job they were elected to do than worrying about winning re-election, it’s possible to work together, achieve principled compromise and get results. 

The people have no patience for any other way. 

It’s simple. 

We need politicians to care more about doing something and less about being something.

Believe me, if we can do this in a blue state with a conservative Republican Governor, Washington is out of excuses. 

Leadership delivers. 

Leadership counts. 

Leadership matters. 

We have this leader for America. 

We have a nominee who will tell us the truth and who will lead with conviction.  And now he has a running mate who will do the same. 

We have Governor Mitt Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan, and we must make them our next President and Vice President. 

Mitt Romney will tell us the hard truths we need to hear to put us back on the path to growth and create good paying private sector jobs again in America. 

Mitt Romney will tell us the hard truths we need to hear to end the torrent of debt that is compromising our future and burying our economy. 

Mitt Romney will tell us the hard truths we need to hear to end the debacle of putting the world’s greatest health care system in the hands of federal bureaucrats and putting those bureaucrats between an American citizen and her doctor.

We ended an era of absentee leadership without purpose or principle in New Jersey. 

It’s time to end this era of absentee leadership in the Oval Office and send real leaders to the White House. 

America needs Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and we need them right now.

There is doubt and fear for our future in every corner of our country.

These feelings are real. 

This moment is real. 

It’s a moment like this where some skeptics wonder if American greatness is over.  

How those who have come before us had the spirit and tenacity to lead America to a new era of greatness in the face of challenge. 

Not to look around and say “not me,” but to say, “YES, ME.”

I have an answer tonight for the skeptics and the naysayers, the dividers and the defenders of the status quo. 

I have faith in us.  

I know we can be the men and women our country calls on us to be.

I believe in America and her history. 

There’s only one thing missing now.  Leadership.  It takes leadership that you don’t get from reading a poll. 

You see, Mr. President – real leaders don’t follow polls. Real leaders change polls. 

That’s what we need to do now.  

Change polls through the power of our principles. 

Change polls through the strength of our convictions. 

Tonight, our duty is to tell the American people the truth.

Our problems are big and the solutions will not be painless. We all must share in the sacrifice. Any leader that tells us differently is simply not telling the truth. 

I think tonight of the Greatest Generation. 

We look back and marvel at their courage – overcoming the Great Depression, fighting Nazi tyranny, standing up for freedom around the world. 

Now it’s our time to answer history’s call. 

For make no mistake, every generation will be judged and so will we. 

What will our children and grandchildren say of us?  Will they say we buried our heads in the sand, we assuaged ourselves with the creature comforts we’ve acquired, that our problems were too big and we were too small, that someone else should make a difference because we can’t?

Or will they say we stood up and made the tough choices needed to preserve our way of life?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my children and grandchildren to have to read in a history book what it was like to live in an American Century. 

I don’t want their only inheritance to be an enormous government that has overtaxed, overspent and over-borrowed a great people into second-class citizenship. 

I want them to live in a second American Century.

A second American Century of strong economic growth where those who are willing to work hard will have good paying jobs to support their families and reach their dreams.

A second American Century where real American exceptionalism is not a political punch line, but is evident to everyone in the world just by watching the way our government conducts its business and everyday Americans live their lives.

A second American Century where our military is strong, our values are sure, our work ethic is unmatched and our Constitution remains a model for anyone in the world struggling for liberty.

Let us choose a path that will be remembered for generations to come. Standing strong for freedom will make the next century as great an American century as the last one. 

This is the American way. 

We have never been victims of destiny. 

We have always been masters of our own. 

I won’t be part of the generation that fails that test and neither will you. 

It’s now time to stand up. There’s no time left to waste.

If you’re willing to stand up with me for America’s future, I will stand up with you. 

If you’re willing to fight with me for Mitt Romney, I will fight with you.

If you’re willing to hear the truth about the hard road ahead, and the rewards for America that truth will bear, I’m here to begin with you this new era of truth-telling. 

Tonight, we choose the path that has always defined our nation’s history.

Tonight, we finally and firmly answer the call that so many generations have had the courage to answer before us. 

Tonight, we stand up for Mitt Romney as the next President of the United States. 

And, together, we stand up once again for American greatness. 

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The Herd: A Look at The Republican Veepstakes. Today’s Potential Nominee — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie

Bookmark and Share   The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious potential choices to be selected as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate on the Republican presidential ticket.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one the many Republicans which we believe will be at least considered for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

In addition to a biographical information and a brief assessment of each potential nominee and their chances of being selected by Mitt Romney, White House 2012′s coverage also includes each potential nominee’s voting records, as well as a listing of their public statements and links to their web sites.

Today White House 2012 takes a look at House majority leader, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

Born: September 6, 1962 (age 47), Newark, New Jersey

Spouse(s): Mary Pat Christie

Children : Andrew, Sarah, Patrick, and Bridget.

Residence : Mendham Township, New Jersey

Alma mater: University of Delaware, Seton Hall Law School

Religion: Roman Catholic

Profession: Attorney

(Click here for Christie’s White House 2012 page)

Governor Christie decided not to run for President in part because he felt that this was not his time and also because he wants to see through with his committment to the people of New Jersey who elected him three years ago. Logic would dictate that those same reasons would apply to accepting a spot on the presidential ticket as Vice President. But stranger things have happened and if Christie seems to be the magic elixir for an apprehensive electorate that wants a strong fiscal conservative who seemingly stands up to the establishment, then the pressure to run will be put on Christie. In the end I still don’t see him being nominated for Vice President by Romney nor do I see Christie accepting the nomination if Romney did pick him. Besides, it should also be noted that even if he were on the ticket, Christie is unlikely to have the ability to deliver New Jersey’s electoral votes to Romney.

But for reasons that are obvious, he will be at least said to be on the short list.

Christie’s popularity among conservatives nationally is high.  His say it like it is, shoot from the hit approach to the tough issues is something that many people find refreshing in politics and those who see it that way like Chris Christie a lot.  But those who do not see it that way find Christie to be a blowhard and a bully.  Those on the right think the New Jersey Governor is a no-nonsense leader who is more concerned with getting government spending under control, lowering taxes, and as someone who would rather say “no” because because it’s proper public policy than say “yes” because its politically expedient.

On the other hand, those on the left see Christie as an insensitive, and abrasive thug who likes to call people names and is unconcerned with with the needs of working class Americans.

I will leave it to you to draw your own conclusion because if you’re on the left you will believe the latter and if you’re on the right you will believe the former and nothing I say will change your opinion.  But that might be just one of the reasons why Christie will not be on the presidential ticket.  He is a polarizing figure who you either love or hate and as such, it is hard to say which way independent voters will fall on Christie as a voting bloc, and that independent voting bloc is critical to winning the election in November.  If Christie proves to poll well with independent voters, and that somehow his number two spot on the ticket has the ability to win enough of them over to influence their voting Republican in key battleground states like Ohio and Florida, then Christie could be  a must for Romney.  But that is not very likely in 2012.

Pros:

  • His hard hitting, say it like it is, approach is viewed as politically courageous and refreshing.
  • He is far from what anyone can call a career politician
  • He has positive national name ID
  • Christie might be able to appeal to independent voters who like his blunt style
  • He would energize much of the conservative base and even some of the T.E.A. activists
  • He could make Joe Biden look like a comedic sidekick
  • Christie’s presence on the ticket could force the Obama-Biden campaign to invest more time and money in New Jersey, a state they anticipate winning easily

Cons:

  • He has only been in office for almost three years
  • Even if he is on the ticket, Christie may not even be able to carry New Jersey for Romney
  • Christie has not been fully vetted yet and under intense scrutiny his clean record may be tarnished by some minor political indiscretions
  • Conservatives leery of Romney will not appreciate what some may consider to be two Northeast Moderates on the ticket
  • Independents might tend to see Christie as too abrasive

My Assessment:

Christie is certainly a viable option. However his two most appealing qualities, his bluntness and his newness on the political stage, may just be the very same things that cause Mitt Romney to look elsewhere. That in addition to both men being known as Governors from the liberal Northeast, could make several other candidates from outside of the Northeast much more attractive to the Romney campaign. But Christie’s ability to inspire and energize the base might just be what Mitt Romney needs to help avoid any McCain-like voter apathy. In the end, I think Romney will pass on Christie and go for a running mate who is safer, lacks Christie’s confrontational political personality and who has a much stronger and more proven ability to win over independent voters.

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Recent Key Votes

S 1 – Authorizes Same-Sex Marriage

Legislation (Conditional Veto)

Feb. 21, 2012

S 317 – Relating to Contractors

Legislation (Pocket Veto)

Jan. 17, 2012

More Key Votes

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Chris Christie On The Issues

International Issues Domestic Issues Economic Issues Social Issues
Foreign Policy Gun Control Budget & Economy Education
Homeland Security Crime Government Reform Civil Rights
War & Peace Drugs Tax Reform Abortion
Free Trade Health Care Social Security Families & Children
Immigration Technology Corporations Welfare & Poverty
Energy & Oil Environment Jobs Principles & Values

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Chris Christie Shoring Up His Value as a Vice Presidential Running Mate

Bookmark and Share    In advance of the delivery of his second State of the State address, New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie’s team has released a new web ad that credits him for having begun to turn the Garden State around.

It’s the type of stuff, that fits in well with any campaign’s desire to tap in to a similar theme for the nation and its economy, which much like New Jersey, is in desperate need of a comeback.  This is not to say that the ad is meant to establish the groundwork for a Chris Christie vice presidency.  Afterall, regardless of national politics, Chris Christie does need to make sure that his image in New Jersey remains one that will be worthy of reelection come 2013.

Either way, the web ad helps promote an image of Christie that can’t hurt either his chances for being picked as a vice presidential running mate or for eventually being reelected Governor.

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Trunkline 2012: Tuesday Tidbits From The Republican Presidential Race – 11/29/11

Bookmark and Share   Today’s campaign trail turns up a Trunkline 2012 with news about Herman Cain’s reasessment of his campaign, a look at who would benefit and who would be hurt if Cain drops out of the race, the new draft Sarah Palin for President ad, Bachmann blasting Newt, why Chris Christie shouldn’t be President, and much more including two new Trunkline 2012 features, the Daily Tweet and the Daily Quote.

 “The president acts like a politician running for office, not a sitting leader. That has had a poisonous effect on the country.”-Rick Santorum in an interview with the Nashua Telegraph

  • Twitter of the Day:

ConservativeNDC A.K. Baker

“The current Occupy Wall Street movement is the best illustration to date of what President Barack Obama’s America looks like.”

Watch a Live Webcast of Chris Christie’s Speech at the Reagan Library

Bookmark and Share    As speculation begins to intensely swirl about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie seriously considering  a run for President, today, Tuesday September 26th, the Governor will be in California, delivering a a speech as a part of the Reagan Foundation’s series of Perspectives on Leadership Forum’s.

While it is highly unlikely that Christie will announce that he running during this speech, he could indicate whether or not he really is considering the prospect of run for President in 2012.  Either way, Christie’s speech will be watched and scrutinized by much of the world.  It will be quite interesting to hear what the Governor will say, if for no other than reason that to confirm or deny the claims that Christie is the G.O.P.’s best hope for victory in 2012.

Tickets to th event at the Reagan Library were going for $75.00 a person but don’t worry about trying to get a last minute ticket and flight to Cali for the event.  According to the Reagan Foundation, tickets have been sold out for quite a some time now.  But you will have the opprtunity to join with White House 2012 and see the speech via a live webcast at 9:00 pm EST/6:pm PDT.

Just click the on the information link below to view it.

The Live Simulcast has concluded. To see a recorded version of the speech and to read a complete transcript of it, click here

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Former New Jersey Governor Tom Kean Says Chris Christie is Considering a Run for President

Bookmark and Share    Although New JerseyGovernor Christopher J.  Christie is officially not considering a run for President, a good friend of the Governor, former popular New Jersey Governor Tom Kean tells National Review that Christie is indeed giving the idea of a 2012 run for President some very serious consideration.

Governor Kean has known Governor Christie since he was a teenager and for all intent and purpose there is no immediately obvious reason for Kean to intentionally mislead the public about Christie’s thought process.

For several days now, the word that Governor Christie is thinking about running has been gaining momentum.  From my point of view, it must be treated as chatter, but not in the sense of people just talking.  It must be treated the in the sense as chatter as it pertains to intelligence gathering.  When the government intercepts an unusual level of communications (which they call chatter) regarding a certain matter, they take the information more seriously and heighten their level attention on whatever it is that the “chatter is about”.  The same thing applies here for the other Republicans running for President.  They better be prepared for the waves if Christie jumps into the presidential waters.

Despite very adanmant claims that he was not thinking about running for President in 2012, the inability for a single declared Republican presidential candidate to catch fire and burn steadily so far, has created an atmosphere that could tolerate Christie’s sudden sharp reversal of course.  It would be easy for him to say  “given the current political atmosphere, after discussions with my family and many leaders across the spectrum , both Republicans and Democrats, I have decided that now might indeed be th time for me to run“.

Critics will of course call the Governor a liar but many more vocal supporters will say that running is the right decision for both Christie and the nation.  As a New Jerseyan I can tell you right now that although Christie is in good shape here, he probably has a better chance getting elected of the United States than he does t getting reelected Governor of blue New Jersey.  Especially  if Democrats run a dynamic Democrat like Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker.

That said, I am done placing bets who which horse will enter the starting gate,  I’ve been wrong about that too many times this election cycle.   So I will not say Christie is running.  I won’t say he isn’t running either.  I will however tell you, that with two major out-of state speeches that Christie will be making in the near future combined with the opening in the G.O.P. field that still exists and given not just all the chatter but who the chatter is coming from, the chances of Christie running now are greater than have been to date.

Of course all the chatter could be just a very savvy way of insuring that Christie’s speech in Missouri and at the Reagan Library in California are given the type of attention tat all politicians dream of, whether they’re running for President or not.Bookmark and Share

The Polarizing Truth. Why Republicans should nominate a divider instead of a unifier.

Bookmark and Share    If you’re like many Americans, it’s too early to be thinking about the presidential contest next year. Even if you are aware of some of the candidates running, chances are you’re not glued to the set watching the early debates. Wednesday’s MSNBC sponsored GOP debate was interesting though. I managed to catch a few minutes of it and although I thought Romney was particularly sharp and Rick Perry made a very good case as a solid conservative, it was clear why the current field leaves something to be desired among many in the Republican Party. A former George W. Bush speechwriter said this past weekend that “I don’t think Republicans regard this as a strong field. So there is still talk of people getting in the race.” 

Let’s forget all the conventional reasons why there is a lack of excitement from the current cadre of presidential hopefuls. Romney has a problem effectively discussing the failings of Obama-care given his own health care bill in Massachusetts, add to that his 59 point economic plan…59 points? I’m worried there might be a test at the end! Governor Perry, although articulating many strong conservative principles, has the challenge of the latest critique of his Texas job creation efforts through government subsidies and ‘poaching’ from other states; there’s Bachman’s lack of executive experience and Ron Paul’s difficulty overcoming the fringe label among many voters. Gingrich, Huntsman, Santorum and Cain round out the field but lack funding and have thus far failed to light a spark among earlier likely primary voters. 

Despite the short-comings of the top-tier, they may all be able to put up an effective fight simply based on the current economy and the President’s own poor performance. Mishandling the economic crisis; the deepening of unemployment and under-employment; vast expanse of government beyond what it palatable for the average taxpayer; and out-of-control debt have all contributed to a general lack of enthusiasm for his re-election in recent polls. That said the GOP is very skilled at the art of snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory.

Only a candidate with the courage to polarize the electorate on the issues and present a stark contrast with the Democratic incumbent will win. We need someone to unapologetically pursue a new policy course focused on economic growth and individual liberty in order to win.

The first step is to challenge the conventional wisdom that our nominee needs to be a conciliator and a unifier instead of a polarizer by looking at the facts of history. There are plenty of successful Presidents who ran in the center and then governed from their partisan corner. Then there are a few who campaigned from a solid partisan position, specifically outlining an enemy, who won decisive victories.

President Reagan, President George W. Bush and President Clinton were highly partisan political leaders creating vehement opposition from the other side. Each had the polarizing effect of a wide gap between the support of members of their own party and the lack of support among voters in the other party as they entered the second year in office. See Poll Results

And each were winners of a second term because they appealed to the core of their own party and created enough momentum to show strong leadership on the issue of the day which won over the average voter who only pays attention at the end.

Obama, like his predecessors, has embraced the role of polarizer-in-chief as he knows that his success is dependent on his aggressive far-left agenda energizing the core of the Democratic base. As long as he offers some hope for a recovery and continues to redistribute your wealth he’s got a good shot at keeping the job.

That same zeal on the side of individual liberty and economic growth is the only way for a Republican challenger to have a chance of unseating this administration. Why is it that the Democrats are unafraid to be aggressive champions of their big government ideology while Republicans more often look for a middle ground thinking that they will appeal to everyone? Democrats like Obama and Clinton understood the value of the base and the importance of ‘dividing and conquering’ the electorate. Bush understood that as well when he stood for re-election in 2004 and certainly President Reagan understood the value when he used divisive terms like ‘welfare queens’ and ‘evil empire’.

Perhaps the best model to view for the upcoming election are the three Presidents who, in addition to causing divisiveness while in office, actually campaigned successfully by exploiting a major issue of the day and defining a clear position outlining the ‘enemy’.

Abraham Lincoln took a strong anti-slavery position and campaigned on stopping its expansion. His position was so strong the half the states threatened to secede if he won and then followed through. 1860 Campaign

Franklin Roosevelt ran a campaign pointing the finger at the ‘economic royalists’ and laid out a very effective populist campaign that defined the enemy as greedy businessmen and changed the country in a direction that set up the great expanse of government today. 1936 Speech

Ronald Reagan campaigned as a strong anti-communist defining the foreign enemy effectively and readying the nation to capitalize on their weak economic position. He also effectively defined the domestic enemy as government itself. 1980 Campaign

All of these men faced defining moments in American history, the Civil War, The Great Depression and the Cold War respectively. America is again confronted with a generational crisis that will have a resonating impact for decades to come.

The economic crisis today is beyond the dreadful employment numbers and slow growth. It encompasses the vast expanse of government that has put our nation perilously close to the tipping point of having more Americans taking from the government than paying to sustain it. If that happens and the Democrats feel secure knowing that entitlement benefit receivers outnumber working, taxpaying Americans, don’t expect a conciliatory or unifying tone from the other side.

Current polling shows that the economy and jobs is and will likely continue to be the number one issue heading into the next Presidential election. With nearly one in ten Americans out of work and another nearly one in ten working at a job that is insufficient to sustain a modest family’s standard of living, we’re in serious trouble.

The Democratic solution – which unfortunately has been aided and abetted by some weak, compromising Republicans in Washington – is to spend more of your tax dollars through new ‘stimulus’ spending – err sorry, just saw the White House talking points – it’s now ‘jobs’ spending. We’ve seen the failure of increased government spending under the current administration as well as the last Republican administration.  Not only is this an economically ruinous course to take, but every dollar the government spends to ‘create jobs’ is not wealth created, it’s a dollar redistributed by coercion. Of course the American people are starting to ‘get it’ and the anger that is growing among taxpayers regarding the over-reach and failure of these policies is becoming palpable. Many Americans seem ready to fire the President but simply won’t replace him with someone who will be perceived to do more of the same.

It’s one reason that Governor Christie is talked about as a potential top contender. His brash style, aggressive decision making and willingness to take on tough fights has some Democrats in New Jersey speaking positively about his administration around the water cooler. There hasn’t been a more successful polarizing figure in recent New Jersey history than Governor Christie. He hasn’t taken on the role of chief conciliator with the teachers and public workers unions. He’s stepped up and taken on the role of chief agitator and walked away with several key victories for the taxpayers. Christie’s success is contrary to conventional wisdom about reconciling and being palatable to the other side. He’s a fighter pure and simple and is earning the respect of former foes because of his unapologetic style and aggressive pursuit of solving problems. He’s a straight talker who isn’t posturing for image and acceptance. Instead he’s going for the jugular of those forces that are bankrupting the state and destroying the economic future for the next generation.

If it’s working in a blue state like New Jersey, where Democrats outnumber Republicans by a nearly two-to-one margin, it can certainly work in swing states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, Florida and New Hampshire where the registration numbers are much closer. Although a more moderate, conciliatory Republican may fare better in states like New Jersey, we’re likely to lose those states and do worse than expected in the swing states unless we energize the folks who are suffering the most with the current economy. The game plan in 2012 can’t be to earn the respect and admiration of the Democrats who will vote against us anyway. We need to be on the right side of history and champion the free market ideas that are the only way to create a robust and productive economy -and secure our future liberty.

 This is not the time to play nice with the side who has levied on us the highest tax and debt burden in our history. This is not the time to play nice with the leaders on the other side whose agenda is not economic growth and freedom but the destruction of the very core of our capitalist system. Big government and debt are the goals of the other side. It’s time to take a stand and choose sides.

 Of course Governor Christie has emphatically repeated that he is not going to be a candidate in 2012. Given his track record, I think it’s a safe bet to take him at his word. Without Governor Christie there is only one other Republican leader with the same style of tough talk and conservative record with the ability to deliver the message and energize the party as we haven’t seen since Ronald Reagan, former governor Sarah Palin. Her Iowa speech recently was an outright attack on the ‘crony capitalists’ who are turning profits with the aid of the taxpayers. She’s correctly stated that these are not champions of capitalism creating growth in the economy – instead they are parasites earning a living off of government bailouts and subsidies. Palin rightly attacks those businesses which have benefited from tax loopholes and redistributed wealth from taxpayers. She’s got a long history of success with her aggressive style challenging conventional wisdom and fighting entrenched government. She’s taken on the tough fights in her own party and won. Her leadership and decision making helped create a strong economy in Alaska. She’s rooted out corruption and stood firm in the face of criticism and every kind of vitriol thrown her way. She’s got executive and life experience necessary to be an effective commander-in-chief. Family values, patriotism and an unapologetic approach to supporting our military and putting the interest of America first in the world.

 The country needs leadership, and we’re overdue for a tough talking sheriff not afraid to act who will get to Washington and clean up the mess left by years of apologetic and weak Republicans and big government Democrats.

Palin is already a champion of the right policies that will restore a growth economy nationally creating sustainable employment and revenue. She’s got the courage, conviction and charisma necessary to polarize the electorate enough to win.

 The good news is that Americans are slowly waking up from the Obama-induced slumber that allowed government to explode overnight and not especially pleased with what they see.

 We cannot fear standing up and aggressively fighting those political elites that would ruin our economy and create the ‘shared scarcity’ that Congressman Paul Ryan warned of in a speech in Chicago a few months ago. We cannot fear stepping up to the plate with a contentious, strong willed, leader to articulate the position of the taxpayer who is on the hook for the debt and the future liability of a nation of dependents. Instead we should embrace the opportunity and select a nominee who will be unafraid to champion the free market…unafraid to put American interests first…unafraid to take the beating that will surely come from the political and media elite.

 Time to fight…are you ready?

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